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April 10, 2008 15:34 GMT
Photos by AFP, InterPressNews, and RFE/RL
Azerbaijan – Journalists on 8th day of a hunger strike to protest what they call continued government harassment, Baku, 02Apr2008 - As activists fight for reform under authoritarian regimes, some have turned to increasingly desperate measures. In Azerbaijan, two jailed editors of opposition newspapers, Qanimat Zahid and Eynulla Fatullayev, launched a hunger strike in March to demand the release of all imprisoned journalists in the country. Other journalists have joined the strike to support their jailed colleagues.
Azerbaijan - Emin Huseynov in hunger strike protesting dismissal of students Turan Aliyev and Namik Feyziyev from their universities, Jan2006 - Azerbaijani youth activists have also adopted the hunger strike as a protest strategy. Emin Huseynov, shown here in January 2006, was hospitalized after 16 days without food. He and his fellow activists were protesting the expulsion of two students from their university, apparently for their opposition views.
Georgia -- Opposition supporters hold a hunger strike in a makeshift tent camp near the parliament in central Tbilis, 12Mar2008 - In Georgia, opposition supporters used a hunger strike not to demand human rights, but to press for political concessions. Supporters of several opposition parties camped out near the parliament building in Tbilisi in March 2008, demanding changes to what they say are unfair electoral rules.
Georgia -- Parliamentarian Bidzina Gujabidze on a hunger strike outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi, 11Mar2008 - Lawmaker Bidzina Gujabidze, shown here undergoing a medical check, was among the Georgian hunger strikers. The strike ended after more than two weeks without winning any compromises from the ruling party.
Belarus – protest of the hunger-strikers Syarhey Skrabets, Alyaksandar Skrabets, Tatsyana Vanina on the October square, Minsk, 20Mar2008 - Belarusian opposition activists Tatsyana Vanina, Syarhey Skrabets, and Alyaksandr Skrabets last month announced the start of their "relay" hunger strike, with each protester participating as long as he or she can. The protesters were demanding the release of Alyaksandr Kazulin, a jailed former presidential candidate who is widely considered a political prisoner.
Belarus -- Alyaksandr Kozulin with his daughters Yulia (R) and Volha (L) near portrait of his deceased wife Iryna at their home in Minsk, 26Feb2008 - After being sentenced to prison in 2006, Kazulin himself gave up food for 53 days to bring international attention to his case. The protest seriously damaged his health. Kazulin then began another hunger strike this past winter to demand that he be released in time to attend his wife's funeral. The Belarusian authorities eventually released him for three days.
Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz opposition supporters sit inside a traditional yurt tent built by hunger strickers in front of the Parliament in central Bishkek, 07Apr2007. - Kyrgyz protesters camped out in traditional yurts in front of the parliament building in Bishkek during massive demonstrations in April 2007. The hunger strikers and other opposition activists were demanding the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiev, saying he had failed to fulfill his promises of democratic reform.
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